62 Hans Hofmann Quotes On Success In Life

Hans Hofmann was a German-born American painter, renowned as both an artist and teacher. His career spanned two generations and two continents and is considered to have both preceded and influenced Abstract Expressionism. Born and educated near Munich, he was active in the early twentieth-century European avant-garde and brought a deep understanding and synthesis of Symbolism, Neo-impressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism when he emigrated to the United States in 1932. These Hans Hofmann quotes will motivate you.

Best Hans Hofmann Quotes

  1. “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  2. “In nature, light creates the color. In the picture, color creates the light.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  3. “To sense the invisible and to be able to create it, that is art.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  4. “It is not the form that dictates the color, but the color that brings out the form.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  5. “A work of art is a world in itself reflecting senses and emotions of the artist’s world.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  6. “Our entire being is nourished by color.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  7. “Art is the expression of the artist´s overflowing soul.” ~ Hans Hofmann

  8. “People say ‘Hofmann has different styles’. I have not. I have different moods; I am not two days the same man.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  9. “Space expands or contracts in the tensions and functions through which it exists. Space is not a static, inert thing. Space is alive; space is dynamic; space is imbued with movement expressed by forces and counterforces; space vibrates and resounds with color, light and form in the rhythm of life.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  10. “A thing in itself never expresses anything. It is the relation between things that gives meaning to them and that formulates a thought. A thought functions only as a fragmentary part in the formulation of an idea.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  11. “Art is something absolute, something positive, which gives power just as food gives power. While creative science is a mental food, art is the satisfaction of the soul.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  12. “Painters must speak through paint, not through words.” ~ Hans Hofmann

  13. “The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of color.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  14. “Art leads to a more profound concept of life because art itself is a profound expression of feeling. The artist is born, and art is the expression of his overflowing soul. Because his soul is rich, he cares comparatively little about the superficial necessities of the material world; he sublimates the pressure of material affairs in an artistic experience.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  15. “My aim in painting is to create pulsating, luminous, and open surfaces that emanate a mystic light, in accordance with my deepest insight into the experience of life and nature.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  16. “I can’t understand how anyone is able to paint without optimism.” ~ Hans Hofmann

  17. “A work of art is finished, from the point of view of the artist, when feeling and perception have resulted in a spiritual synthesis.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  18. “The truly monumental can only come about by means of the most exact and refined relation between parts. Since each thing carries both a meaning of its own and an associated meaning in relation to something else – its essential value is relative. We speak of the mood we experience when looking at a landscape. This mood results from the relation of certain things rather than from their separate actualities. This is because objects do not in themselves possess the total effect they give when interrelated.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  19. “Art is magic… But how is it magic? In its metaphysical development? Or does some final transformation culminate in a magic reality? In truth, the latter is impossible without the former. If creation is not magic, the outcome cannot be magic.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  20. “Through a painting, we can see the whole world.” ~ Hans Hofmann

  21. “Nature’s purpose in relation to the visual arts is to provide stimulus not imitation. From its ceaseless urge to create springs all Life – all movement and rhythm – time and light, color and mood – in short, all reality in Form and Thought.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  22. “Creation is dominated by three absolutely different factors: First, nature, which works upon us by its laws; second, the artist, who creates a spiritual contact with nature and his materials; third, the medium of expression through which the artist translates his inner world.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  23. “Every art expression is rooted fundamentally in the personality and temperament of the artist.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  24. “Colors must fit together as pieces in a puzzle or cogs in a wheel.” ~ Hans Hofmann

  25. “I can’t understand how anyone is able to paint without optimism. Despite the general pessimistic attitude in the world today, I am nothing but an optimist.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  26. “What goes on in abstract art is the proclaiming of aesthetic principles… It is in our own time that we have become aware of pure aesthetic considerations. Art never can be imitation.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  27. “The general misunderstanding of a work of art is often due to the fact that the key to its spiritual content and technical means is missed. Unless the observer is trained to a certain degree in the artistic idiom, he is apt to search for things which have little to do with the aesthetic content of a picture. He is likely to look for pure representational values when the emphasis is really upon music-like relationships.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  28. “It takes intelligence and training, self-discipline and fine-sensibility, to gain renewed life through leisure occupation. America now suffers spiritual poverty, and art must become more fully American life before her leisure can become culture.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  29. “Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind.” ~ Hans Hofmann

  30. “The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of color. Our entire being is nourished by it. This mystic quality of color should likewise find expression in a work of art.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  31. “The product of movement and counter-movement is tension. When tension working strength is expressed, it endows the work of art with the living effect of coordinated, though opposing, forces.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  32. “The creative process lies not in imitating, but in paralleling nature – translating the impulse received from nature into the medium of expression, thus vitalizing this medium. The picture should be alive, the statue should be alive, and every work of art should be alive.” ~ Hans Hofmann quotes
  33. “The difference between the arts arises because of the difference in the nature of the mediums of expression and the emphasis induced by the nature of each medium. Each means of expression has its own order of being, its own units.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  34. “To me, art is the glorification of the human spirit.” ~ Hans Hofmann

  35. “The impulse of nature, fused through the personality of the artist by-laws arising from the particular nature of the medium, produces the rhythm and the personal expression of a work. Then the life of the composition becomes a spiritual unity.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  36. “Art is to me the glorification of the human spirit, and as such, it is the cultural documentation of the time in which it is produced.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  37. “And so artistic creation is the metamorphosis of the external physical aspects of a thing into a self-sustaining spiritual reality .” ~ Hans Hofmann
  38. “There is in reality no such thing as modern art. Art is carried on up and down in immense cycles through centuries and civilizations.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  39. “Color is a plastic means of creating intervals… color harmonics produced by special relationships, or tensions. We differentiate now between formal tensions and color tensions, just as we differentiate in music between counterpoint and harmony.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  40. “To experience visually, and to transform our visual experience into plastic terms, requires the faculty of empathy.” ~ Hans Hofmann

  41. “Just as counterpoint and harmony follow their own laws, and differ in rhythm and movement, both formal tensions and color tensions have a development of their own in accordance with the inherent laws from which they are separately derived. Both, however, aim toward the realization of the same image. And both deal with the depth problem.” ~ Hans Hofmann quotes
  42. “Art and science create a balance to material life and enlarge the world of living experience. Art leads to a more profound concept of life, because art itself is a profound expression of feeling.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  43. “It makes no difference whether a work is naturalistic or abstract; every visual expression follows the same fundamental laws” ~ Hans Hofmann
  44. “The child is really an artist, and the artist should be like a child, but he should not stay a child. He must become an artist. That means he cannot permit himself to become sentimental or something like that. He must know what he is doing” ~ Hans Hofmann
  45. “You must break all the rules of painting, but you must also convince me you’ve had a reason to do so.” ~ Hans Hofmann

  46. “When the impulses which stir us to profound emotion are integrated with the medium of expression, every interview of the soul may become art. This is contingent upon mastery of the medium.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  47. “The plastic artist may or may not be concerned with presenting a superficial appearance of reality, but he is always concerned with the presentation – if not the representation – of the plastic values of reality.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  48. “An idea can only be materialized with the help of a medium of expression, the inherent qualities of which must be surely sensed and understood in order to become the carrier of an idea” ~ Hans Hofmann
  49. “We are connected with our own age if we recognize ourselves in relation to outside events; and we have grasped its spirit when we influence the future.” ~ Hans Hofmann quotes
  50. “The art of pictorial creation is so complicated – it is so astronomical in its possibilities of relation and combination that it would take an act of super-human concentration to explain the final realization.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  51. “To worship the product and ignore its development leads to dilettantism and reaction.” ~ Hans Hofmann

  52. “The impressionistic method leads into a complete splitting and dissolution of all areas involved in the composition, and color is used to create an overall effect of light. The color is, through such a shading down from the highest light in the deepest shadows, sacrified an degraded to a (black-and-white) function. This leads to the destructions of the color as color.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  53. “The width of a line may present the idea of infinity. An epigram may contain a world. In the same way, a small picture format may be much more living, much more leavening, stirring, awakening, than square yards of wall space.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  54. “It isn’t necessary to make things large to make them monumental; a head by Giacometti one inch high would be able to vitalize this whole space.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  55. “Since light is best expressed through differences in color quality, color should not be handled as a tonal gradation, to produce the effect of light.” ~ Hans Hofmann

  56. “As a teacher I approach my students purely with the human desire to free them from all scholarly inhibitions, and I tell them, “Painters must speak through paint not through words.”” ~ Hans Hofmann
  57. “Depth, in a pictorial, plastic sense, is not created by the arrangement of objects one after another toward a vanishing point, in the sense of the Renaissance perspective, but on the contrary (and in absolute denial of this doctrine) by the creation of forces in the sense of push and pull . Nor is depth created by tonal gradation (another doctrine of the academician which, at its culmination, degraded the use of color to a mere function of expressing dark and light).” ~ Hans Hofmann
  58. “A thought functions only as a fragmentary part in the formulation of an idea.” ~ Hans Hofmann

  59. “A work based only on a line concept is scarcely more than a illustration; it fails to achieve pictorial structure. Pictorial structure is based on a plane concept. The line originates in the meeting of two planes … we can lose ourselves in a multitude of lines, if through them we lose our senses for the planes.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  60. “A work of art is a world in itself reflecting senses and emotions of the artist’s world. Just as a flower, by virtue of its existence as a complete organism is both ornamental and self-sufficient as to color, form, and texture, so art, because of its singular existence is more than mere ornament.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  61. “Genius is gifted with a vitality which is expended in the enrichment of life through the discovery of new worlds of feeling.” ~ Hans Hofmann
  62. “Art cannot result from sophisticated, frivolous, or superficial effects.” ~ Hans Hofmann

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